Thoughts on the profession

My Guilty Pleasure

I did a lot of driving over the holidays, and a lot of switching around to unfamiliar radio stations.  Formats are similar everywhere, but there was still some regional flavor in the way the DJs interacted with each other and the audience, and in the time of some of the commercials.

Somewhere in between playings of “Dark Horse,” I landed on a station playing a teaser for one of their end-of-year “person on the street” features.  The subject was guilty pleasures and holiday season indulgences.  In between the gushing over chocolate and sleeping in, one woman said this: “Massages.  That’s my guiltiest pleasure.”
Apparently we still have a way to go in the public education area.  Because while a massage may be a pleasure, it should never be “guilty.”  I have written in this blog about how your massage really benefits everyone you care for.  I have written about the modalities I practice, and the science behind massage.

Now I think I need to take a minute to address the idea of guilt and massage.  We overuse guilt for many things, but especially for those things which give us pleasure, and even more so if that pleasure involves touch.  Somewhere along the way, many of us learned to associate pleasure with things that were “bad for us” — the taste of chocolate or coffee, for example.  And somewhere along the way, especially in American culture, many of us were taught that excessive touch was “bad for us.”  The truth, as research proves again and again, is that touch is necessary for our emotional health, and really our basic survival.

So, please, stop calling massage your “guilty pleasure.”  Where is the guilt in taking care of yourself, and engaging in activities which are necessary for your survival?  And when you hear someone else talking about massage this way, remind them that they are worth the time and the cost of massage.  Because I think that’s what the guilt boils down to — somewhere along the way, we decided that we are not worth it.

But we are.  You are.  

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